Osteopenia, osteoporosis, osteomalacia. So which is it?
The term "osteopenia" often is used synonymously with the terms "osteoporosis" and "osteomalacia". Osteopenia describes reduced peak bone density as seen on radiographs. Osteoporosis describes more severe loss of bone mass from multiple causes (ie. vitamin or mineral deficiency, low estrogen or testosterone, corticosteroid use, nerve damage, and thyroid, autoimmune, or hematologic diseases). Osteomalacia is a softening of bones from inadequate mineralization of osteoid. It is the adult equivalent of rickets and is caused by interference of vitamin D metabolism or calcium and phosphate absorption.